Use this page to make connections between pages and overall comments about the sessions.
Synergies: Commonalities Across the Contexts
-writing is valuable regardless of what you’re teaching
-voice is important regardless of context; we might use it in different ways depending on the context
-context is important, helping students understand and deconstruct contexts
-draft writing and having chances to experiment, take chances/risks and make mistakes—put the editor at the back table for a while
-resist the narrowing effects of standardized testing; we need variety, validity and links
-we’re all invested and want to work at this
-basics: clarity of expression, content organization, the “craft of writing”
-everyone is struggling in their own context, the silo effect
-understanding the expectation; clearly articulated expectations and assessment tools to reflect those expectations
-content instructors don’t feel the need to teach writing; drawing awareness
-instructors that aren’t trained teachers; the practice of teaching can be addressed
-experience and theory must be valued; sometimes we need to take a step back
-moving towards how we teach versus what we teach
-student focus versus content focus
-the way we view and communicate about assessment and how it is perceived; assessment of a composition (“as is”, at a point in time), not what a student is worth
-the importance of metacognition
-inter-disciplinary discussion, and it’s value; also discussion across levels
-started a conversation to be on similar ground, gained a better understanding and insights
-conversation to share our message to those that create standardized tests, and other parties; further conversation and engagement
-are we applying what we have discussed? responsibilities to share
-practical strategies, narrowing down what we can do NOW to start this
-how do you want us to lighten the load if we’re interested in helping?
-something like this conference/workshop, but on a more major scale
-broadening the conversation
-an idea of Alberta “reads” “deconstructs”… all the strands of literacy
Encourage writing as a tool for exploration, understanding, and reflection – not just summative assessment
Use narrative in ‘scholarly’ writing (personal-public)
Less focus on content for diploma exams – more on skills in synthesis, application of ideas in a cross-curricular manner
“As is” – such a motivator and demonstrates the writing as an activity over time
High school curriculum -> post secondary expectation
We need more cross-curricular avenues and dialogue to occur to further reinforce the value of writing in ALL subjects.
Connections between what happens throughout the life of a learner
Elementary – MIddle School – HIgh School – Work World/Post secondary
Need to have teachers across the board work on helping students develop writing ability.
Students come with a mental set of constraints that they need help working through or thinking through.
Different types of academic writing that is expected at the post-secondary level. There are qualities of academic rigor that cross disciplines but are hard to identify.
We need to teach to the curriculum, but we also need to think about life beyond the curriculum.
The diploma exam context shapes practice — when the writing portions of subject area writing exams were dropped so was the focus on writing in those disciplines at the high school level.
Context is focused on assessment — kids write for assessment rather than for communication
What is your context for teaching writing?
How does your context constrain or shape your teaching of writing?
Mj — things we didn’t like
Title doesn’t take a stand
The positives arguments were broken down by the use of absolutes.
Absolutes were not backed up by research.
Needed to see more of the proof for some of the arguments that were being made. A research argument without sources is a real problem
Arguments need a blend of stats and narrative
Embedded definitions would have been helpful.
Spell checking required
Problem sentences (2nd sentence of 2nd paragraph) fragment.
Seems like a bright student who needs to know where to begin setting up the argument. Seems like student needed more time (commitment) to reviewing and revising the article.
Strong voice and strong point of view — wanted to take the student voice even further to embrace the absolutes (more of a student rant genre)
So many points of argument that it is hard for the reader to link it all together. Need to select and refine ideas.
Writer seems not to fully understand the complexity of the problems he/she is dealing with. The debate seems to be bigger than the author is aware.
Didn’t seem to put enough effort into presenting the ideas. Clearly this undercut the content.
Ideas and voice need to be supported by craft.
Ending is too grandiose in terms of its vision of the future (with pot). Passion tips to weakness at that moment.
Go back to cleaning up structure without destroying the voice.
They need to learn to recognize that the craft means that this in not just about them and their voice.
MJ –Things we liked
Writer has passion. Has strong ideas and strong opinions.
Really like the structure. Clearly an argumentative paper that is well supported.
Persuasive techniques were quite strong, will support for the position that he or she was taking. First sentence of second paragraph of second page was well written.
There was a sense of voice. Could hear it spoken aloud. (Opening sentence).
The way they used quotation marks to indicate that they realize the language they are using is being carefully used.
Lead into the thesis was nice and balanced.
Liked the student’s use of positive and negative rhetoric. Made reader question own opinions followed up with positive ideas to support opinion.
Recognize the breadth of their audience (young people and Canadians in general)
Interesting rationale to support argument (though uneven).
Canyon 1: Things we did not value
The image and the text didn’t always work together, creating confusion for the reader.
Wanted more images for the scientific sections of the paper because these were harder to visualize.
Got bored. First section personality came through, second section this was missing.
Transition words used throughout the opening section didn’t always feel like they fit what the author was trying to accomplish (too many furthermores)
Bottom half of the first paragraph sentence structures required greater variety.
Creative section seemed to have been abandoned later in the paper (a scientific sandwich with two slices of creative)
More visual imagery throughout (especially because of how it started), consistency throughout.
Clearer sense of what genre the text is (newspaper article, research paper, report to parks Canada)
A little redundant at times. Information was interesting but circled around it too much.
Transitional statements in the opening section but that variety wasn’t present in the later sections.
Self-disclosure sentences bother one reader. If the genre is clearer this issue might not be a problem.
What is the purpose of the document?
Canyon 1: What we valued in this piece.
Clear image of the canyon.
Definitions were embedded in the text.
Mix of creative word choices with a more scientific text.
Made something as complex as erosion understandable and interesting.
hybridization of styles
Clear indication of shift in style (through the use of headings and organization)
Seemed well researched. Lots of interesting facts. Well referenced.
The first heading grounded the reader in what the writer was doing.
Started with the poetic form to draw the reader in and then moved to the more scientific form.
Few errors. Well written.
Sentences were short and clear.
Good example of different forms of expository grammar.
multimedia text — supported the visual image the text was creating. Process of description moved from the text to the image so that the reader could construct a visual before looking at the photo.
What you valued and what you liked.
What you didn’t like.
What you wish this text did.
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